An experiment: The original Gospel of Mark?—Chp. 13

As noted in the Introduction, two texts of the relevant chapter in the Gospel of Mark are presented here. The first is a short, hypothetical “core”—the first draft of an UrMark reconstructed according to the criteria below.

At the bottom of this post is the entire Chapter 13 in the RSV English translation. Both the short and the longer forms of the chapter are color coded. In order to separate out later Catholic accretions from the earlier Jewish Christian “core,” I have employed the following criteria:

The criteria used for color coding are discussed here. The resultant color coding is as follows:

[Contained in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

Green: Possible/probable, or amended in UrMark.

STAGE 1: Gnostic. To c. 50 CE. “Jesus” is the saving gnosis.
                           Black: May contain historical elements going back to Yeshu ha-Notsri.
                           [Blue] Logia/parables of Yeshu.

STAGE 2a: Jewish Christian. [Brown] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from Yahweh indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. But the first in whom the Jesus dwelled (the prophet Yeshu ha-Notsri by my reckoning) was known as “the first-begotten Son” of God, the “Christ” (Messiah; NTA I:177.2). This messiah was only a model for emulation, not the unattainable figure of later Christianity. Possessing the Jesus (which we can all do, and should do) enables repentance and the forgiveness of sins. The spirit Jesus is divine, but the humans in whom the Jesus dwells are not.

[Not in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

STAGE 2b: Pauline/Marcionite. [Purple] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from the immaterial God (not the God of creation) indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. The death on the cross of a prophet (“Jesus Christ”) in the distant past was a cosmic event of human redemption. Jesus is divine, but the human(s) in whom it dwells are not. Belief is required.

STAGE 3: Catholic Christianity. [Red] C. 150+. “Jesus of Nazareth” is the savior of the world. Gnosis, repentance, and forgiveness of sins have been superseded. “Jesus Christ” was both divine and human. Belief is required.      (Red underlined: Catholic and anti-Marcionite.)

The comprehensive UrMark, cumulatively updated after each installment, is found here.
The cumulative (color coded) Gospel of Mark, also updated after each installment, is found here.


The Hebrew Gospel / UrMark: Chp. 13

[34] “It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
[35] Watch therefore—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning—
[36] lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.

[37] And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”


The Gospel of Mark: Chp. 13
(Revised Standard Version)

[1] And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
[2] And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.”

[3] And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
[4] “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?”
[5] And Jesus began to say to them, “Take heed that no one leads you astray.
[6] Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.
[7] And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet.
[8] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
[9] “But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them.
[10] And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

[11] And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

[12] And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;
[13] and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

[14] “But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
[15] let him who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything away;
[16] and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle.
[17] And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!
[18] Pray that it may not happen in winter.
[19] For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be.
[20] And if the Lord had not shortened the days, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.

[21] And then if any one says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or `Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.
[22] False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
[23] But take heed; I have told you all things beforehand.

[24] “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
[25] and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
[26] And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
[27] And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

[28] “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
[29] So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

[30] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place.
[31] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
[32] “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
[33] Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come.

[34] It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.
[35] Watch therefore—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning—
[36] lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.

[37] And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.”

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